The Magicians (S02E11) “The Rattening” Review

Julia and Quentin track down the Ancient One who will help them cross over into the Underworld if Quentin gives up the button he uses to go to Fillory. Reluctantly Quentin agrees so the Ancient One (who has sort of an attitude) says they have until morning to come back before she eats their bodies. Julia and Quentin make it to the Underworld which is basically a lobby where you take a number and wait to get service. In Fillory Eliot welcomes his future husband, King Idri but Fen is still missing. Idri and Eliot spend some alone time and just as they were about to get something sexy going, Idri turns into a rat. Literally a rat along with many other people in the castle. Is it the fairies? In the Library, Penny is placed under the supervision of the moody teen Sylvia. He visits Kady in a dream telling her he still can’t find a way into the Poison Room but maybe the information is inside the Head Librarian’s book. Back in Washington DC, after disappearing with his father, Reynard (the murdering rapist god), Senator Gaines goes right back to work. Reynard attempts to teach his son how to use his demigod powers or mojo (yes I’m calling it “mojo” from now on). Gaines is reluctant but agrees anyway because he wants his Bill to pass (a Bill that would give books to underprivileged kids, awww).


In Fillory, Eliot, Margo and what’s left of the council try to figure out what the hell is going on. Margo runs into the Representative for the Fairies and accuses him of this witchcraft but the Rep denies it saying turning people into rats is too whimsical for a Fairy. He also explains that the Fairies took Fen because Margo was trying to find a loophole to get out of their deal. So who is really behind the “Rattening” of the castle? At the Library, Penny tries to seduce the Head Librarian without success. She’s not into handsome brooding sarcastic teleporters with emotional issues. Who knew? In the Underworld, Julia and Quentin run into the Free Traders. One of them has already moved on. Good for him. But the rest are just chilling and bowling waiting to be able to do the same. They run into Richard as well. The real Richard. Must have been surreal for Julia but she seems cool understanding that it wasn’t really Richard who raped her (also she doesn’t have a shade). Richard has been trying to find his son in hopes of making amends but the gods won’t let him because he was complicit in his death. He tells them about Hades and Persephone who run the Underworld from their estate Elysium. Julia and Quentin make a plan to find out where the shades are kept. In Washington DC, Gaines has a chat with a stubborn senator who won’t sign the Bill. Surprise. Surprise. So Gaines uses his demigod mojo to help persuade him. It works but the senator has some sort of heart attack. In the Underworld, Richard creates a diversion in the lobby as Julia and Quentin look through the records. They find that all the shades go to Elysium. Gaines is having second thoughts about his powers and tries to tell his wife the truth but she only believes him because he inadvertently uses his mojo on her. This leads him to question his whole life and relationships. In the Library, Penny once again tries to figure out the Head Librarian’s name but is surprised by the smart mouth Sylvia. She’s hiding out in the Library because her dad is some Magician Mobster and she’s hiding from his enemies. She tells Penny their boss’s name: Zelda Shaw.


In the Underworld, Julia and Quentin sneak into Hades’s estate Elysium where all these shades are performing small miracles for people on Earth. Cute! One shade tells them about one particular shade that has been causing a bit of trouble around the house (sounds like Julia). Julia suddenly comes across a portrait of Our Lady Underground who is actually Persephone. She calls her a bitch goddess gone awol. Wow maybe Persephone’s really dead or she’s being held prisoner somewhere, Julia, you don’t know. Quentin and Julia go into Persephone’s room where they find not only Julia’s shade but Alice’s as well! In Fillory, Eliot puts truth serum in the goblets of the remaining council members and finds out from Margo’s own lips about what she did and where Fen is. Feeling betrayed Eliot puts Margo in the dungeon. In the Library, Penny tries to find Zelda’s book but it has been relocated. Damn! So close. Gaines confronts Reynard after finally looking him up on Google (seeing that he’s actually not a great guy; he’s downright evil). Reynard actually lets slip that he was in love with Persephone but it ended badly which explains why he’s been impersonating her and hurting women everywhere (didn’t think someone could ever out trick a trickster god). While in a dream, Kady and Penny talk with Sylvia who also wants to get into the Poison Room because there are things in there she wants to know (already sensing a dark alternative motive here that won’t end well). Kady wakes up to find Senator Gaines. He wants to help get rid of Reynard. Obviously the fruit fell very far from this poison tree, thank gods. In Fillory, Eliot turns a few rats back into humans. He suggests that maybe Fillory should start electing its own leaders. Suddenly Eliot ends up back on Earth. I guess someone heard him and hated the idea of democracy so he kicked Eliot out. Meanwhile Margo is still in the dungeon but a servant brings her an elixir that will take her to the Fairy Realm where she intends to save Fen and Eliot’s unborn baby. Aunt Margo to the rescue! In the Underworld, Julia and Quentin have to leave quickly but instead of taking her shade she takes Alice’s shade. It’s too late to go back to Elysium so Quentin agrees.


A+! Another solid episode and this actually might be my favorite. The FX on the dragon was top notch. They must have really dug into the budget for that and it was worth it! I knew Margo and Eliot would come to a head. She was too reckless and so far Eliot stood behind her but then she put his child in danger and that was the straw that broke the dragon’s back. But you know she’s determined to right her wrong. And who knew Eliot could just be kicked out of Fillory just for suggesting the idea of democracy? He could have done that from the beginning but that begs the question as to who or what kicked him out? It was an interesting surprise to see that the trickster was actually in love with Lady Underground explaining his tact so he’s not just an evil god (well he has a reason but that doesn’t mean he’s less of a murdering rapist). I feel like Reynard was more of a stalker than a real romantic prospect for Persephone. We don’t really understand why she’s awol. Someone in season 1 said she was dead. Maybe she’s imprisoned some where. I’m glad that Gaines had finally joined Team Kill Reynard. Thankfully he doesn’t take after his father. I find Sylvia very suspicious. An alarm is going off in my head about her. And Julia sacrificed getting her own shade back. I actually liked her more in this episode. She acknowledged that there was something wrong with her and Quentin seems to be the only person who can keep her tethered to her old compassionate self. She even supports Q bowling a strike (even though everyone gets a strike when they enter the Underworld the first week). Julia taking Alice’s shade may hint that maybe she can emotionally function without her shade. It’s too early to tell but as long as she keeps Quentin around Julia can at least stay on the less beaten path.